By Antwoine Johnson, MD Middle School Program Coordinator
Photos Courtesy of Chelsea Iorlano, Development & Communications Associate
All good things must come to an end and that is exactly what this year was…..a good thing.
Filled with memories, trials, ups and downs, strengthened friendships, amazing food, and a plethora of events, AALEAD bid farewell to the 2014-2015 school year and wrapped it up with the End of the Year BBQ.
80 youth, parents and staff attended this past Friday’s event, which was riddled with games, laughter, and tears as we began the transition from one year to the next.
The youth and adults started off with some group activities that loosened them up, creating a dance that mimicked the action of creating some favored foods like sushi, pho, hallo hallo, and fried rice. Combining their wit, talent, and killer dance moves, AALEADers came up with awesome ways to display how to create their food using their bodies, sense of rhythm and imaginations.
Then, as the evening went on, it came time to share and bid farewell to the 8th and 12th grades as they began the next stages of their lives. The eighth graders are moving on to high school and finishing off the final chapters of their public schools lives, with some going to Blair, some Einstein, some Wheaton, and some into other schools. The 12th graders are closing up that same chapter, ready to tackle the world in college or in the workforce, boldly moving forward and taking what AALEAD had taught them in regards to education, leadership, and identity, and applying it to where they are going.
It was a heartfelt ceremony as each 8th and 12th grader came up and shared a moment with their coordinator and reflected on the past they have shared with them. Each received words of encouragement or, for the seniors, a scrapbook, but all received precious moments that would follow them until then end.
While the year is over, there is still much to be done as AALEAD looks forward to summer and making memories there as well. Tune in next time to see what surprises await us in AALEAD summer programs!